NHL Betting Preview: Red Wings at Ducks

By: Barry Daniels | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Detroit has captured all three meetings against Anaheim this season.

The Anaheim Ducks are hoping to get a much needed boost from their four new acquisitions Wednesday night at Honda Center when they host the Central Division-leading Detroit Red Wings. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m. (PT).

Though the Ducks enter this contest sitting in the Pacific Division basement, they are just seven points behind first-place San Jose and one point behind Dallas for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

Anaheim’s playoff push was aided Monday when the club added forwards Brad Winchester from St. Louis and Joel Perreault from Vancouver.

The 6-foot-5 Winchester, a second-round pick by Edmonton in the 2000 draft, has nine goals and 14 assists in 57 games for the St. Louis Blues this season. Perreault, who has played most of this season with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, did not have any points in seven games with the Canucks.

Those moves were made one day after the Ducks acquired forward Brian McGrattan and defenseman Sean Zimmerman from Boston in exchange for forwards David Laliberte and Steaputfan Chaput.

All four players are hoping to be in uniform for Wednesday’s contest against the Red Wings.

The Ducks snapped a five-game losing skid Sunday by defeating Colorado as 180 home favorites, 3-2. The win raised Anaheim’s home ledger to 15-10-3-2.

The combined five goals sneaked below the 5 ½-goal closing total, allowing the ‘under’ to cash in the Ducks’ last three games. Nevertheless, the ‘over’ is 36-25-2 in Anaheim’s first 63 overall outings.

Todd Marchant ended a 70-game scoring drought with a timely goal late in the second period, and Brandon McMillan got the game-winner during a four-minute power play with 8:37 remaining to lead the Ducks.

Dan Ellis made 22 saves in his second start since being acquired last Thursday in a trade that sent ineffective backup goalie Curtis McElhinney to Tampa Bay.

McElhinney had allowed 19 goals in four starts while filling in for first-time All-Star Jonas Hiller, who has been sidelined for six games because of lightheadedness after his 12-save shutout win over Edmonton.

Detroit makes the third stop on a five-game road trip in this spot. The Red Wings are 2-0 so far, including Monday’s 7-4 victory against the Los Angeles Kings as 110 road underdogs.

The win raised Detroit’s road ledger to a league-leading 22-8-1-1, which is actually better that its 17-10-3-1 home mark. The Wings are outscoring their opponents on enemy ice by an average of 3.31 to 2.69.

The combined 11 goals against the Kings leaped above the 5 ½-goal closing total, leaving the ‘over’ 34-29 in Detroit’s first 63 encounters. However, the ‘under’ is 17-15 in the club’s first 32 road dates.

Jimmy Howard registered his league-leading 31st victory despite allowing four goals. The 27-year-old second-year netminder, who signed a two-year extension before Monday’s game, is now 31-12-2-1 despite a bloated 2.82 GAA and a less-than-impressive .907 save percentage.

Forward Johan Franzen (wife giving birth) and defenseman Brian Rafalski (back) missed Monday’s game and are both listed as “questionable” on the Don Best Sports injury report.

Detroit has captured all three meetings against Anaheim this season, including a pair of 4-0 shutout victories. Though the Wings are 6-2 in their last eight series meetings against the Ducks, they are just 6-15-1 in their last 22 trips to Anaheim.

The ‘under’ is 5-1 in the last six overall series meetings and 4-1 in the last five matchups at Honda Center.

The Red Wings will continue their five-game excursion Thursday with a contest in San Jose against the Sharks. Anaheim stays on its seven-game homestand Friday by hosting the Dallas Stars.

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